Andy Burnham has today launched an appeal for Manchester restaurants to help stop homelessness in the city this winter, simply by adding an optional £1 charity donation to their bill.
Whilst it has been an undeniably tough time for Manchester restaurants these past few years, a number are already signed up do their bit to help vulnerable people in need.
The StreetSmart campaign, which launches every year in the city on 1 November, sees Manchester’s restaurants offer a platform to the charitable scheme throughout November and December.
It doesn’t cost participating restaurants anything to take part, and every penny raised in Manchester goes directly to local homeless organisations.
This includes the Greater Manchester Mayor’s Charity and the “A Bed Every Night” scheme, which aims to provide a bed and personal support for anyone who has nowhere else to go.
Greater Manchester Mayor, Andy Burnham, has released a video appealing to more restaurants to get involved.
He comments: “We all know that the winter ahead is going to be one of the most challenging we’ve faced. Unfortunately, the people who will be hit hardest will be those who are already in the most precarious positions, and those already living at the edge could be pushed over it.
“That’s why the StreetSmart campaign is so important. A voluntary donation can help support life-changing initiatives here in our city region. Even in our toughest times, Greater Manchester has never walked on by. Please, if you can, help support StreetSmart this winter.”
In previous years, StreetSmart has seen an incredible £34,000 raised by Manchester restaurants including Ramona, Street Urchin, Evuna, Batard, Tampopo, 20 Stories, Banyan, Firehouse, Solita and Bottega by San Carlo at Selfridges.
This year, restaurants confirmed as taking part include Mana, Tampopo, Banyan, Manahatta, Bottega by San Carlo, 20 0Stories and Street Urchin – but it’s hoped that more will sign up for the scheme, which costs them nothing to participate in.
Whilst diners at participating eateries are in no way obliged to add £1 to their bill, restaurants have found in the past that many are more than happy to pay something forward to those with less.
Greater Manchester Mayor’s Charity, along with other local homegrown charities that will benefit from the campaign, is focused on helping individuals break the cycle, regain their dignity and rebuild their lives via positive action, as well as providing crisis and emergency shelter and food during the current cost of living crisis.
StreetSmart has raised over £10 million since its foundation and raised an incredible £696,000 for homeless people across the UK in 2021.
Over 50 homelessness charities now benefit each year, with funds supporting services such as the creation of beds, housing, mental health advice & job support.
Glenn Pougnet, Director of StreetSmart said: “After another tough year for the hospitality industry, and for people all over the country, we are so grateful to the brilliant Manchester restaurants who have signed up so far.
“We know it’s a difficult time to run a restaurant so their support means more than ever. Unfortunately, tough times hit people who are already struggling the hardest and so the funding for charities like Bed Every Night are more vital than ever.
Burgerism is opening a fifth location in Denton
Legendary Manc burger joint and takeaway Burgerism is opening another brand new location in Denton as they continue to expand their Greater Manchester empire.
Set to be their fifth brick-and-mortar site, including their existing venues in Salford, Gatley, the delivery-only kitchen in Manchester city centre and the pop-up in Freight Island, the new Tameside venue sees them reach further across the region after first launching back in 2018.
Sharing the news last week, the smash-burger experts have revealed will be bringing their signature patties, wings, fries and homemade dips to Denton‘s Stockport Road.
Popping up in place of the former Pizza Hut delivery store, the latest location is due to open in mid-March this year. Absolute scenes.
Soon to cover customers living in Denton, Hyde, Stalybridge and beyond, people can rock up to the new adjoined car park space to pick up and collect with ease, and lord knows we love a drive-thru.
To tell the truth, they’ve earned so many accolades in the six years since opening that we’ve lost track, having also been named the eighth most-ordered item on Deliveroo in the UK and the single most-ordered burger in Manchester for 2021. They even scored a collab with the one and only Hawksmoor.
They genuinely might be the best burgers in Greater Manchester.
It still remains the most popular item on Deliveroo in Manchester and this newest venue serves as yet more proof that Burgerism is one if not the best in the game and they are set to make their first moves into Liverpool at the popular Blackstock Market too.
The company’s founder, Mark Murphy, commented: “Burgerism brings restaurant quality smashed burgers straight into people’s homes. Our dream is to be the UK’s go-to delivery burger across the UK, like Domino’s is to pizza. And Denton represents the next piece of the puzzle to do that.
“We’re super excited to launch in the North East of Manchester area. Right from day one, we’ve had loads of die-hard Burgerism fans making the pilgrimage around the M60 to Salford and, while we’ve admired their commitment, we felt it was time to bring Burgerism closer to more of our friends and fans.”
We can’t wait for yet another excuse to try the FreeBird and the Wholly Double only in Tameside.
Tram upgrades and track replacements to take place across Greater Manchester this summer
Upgrades to trams and several track replacements are set to take place across Greater Manchester this summer.
It comes after it was announced last week that an extra £21.4 million investment funding is being ploughed into the Metrolink network over the next 12 months in a bid to “improve” it and ensure that services remain as “safe and reliable” as possible for years to come, according to Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM).
The improvement works were approved by the Bee Network committee last Thursday (22 February).
According to TfGM, the work is part of a planned £147 million package to “maintain, upgrade, and improve” the network throughout the region up to 2027.
Immediate priorities for this summer include track replacement in several parts of the city centre, including Piccadilly Gardens and London Road, and on parts of the Altrincham, and Bury Lines too – which transport bosses claim will mean “quicker, smoother, and more reliable” journeys for passengers using these services.
Plans also include a programme of modifications to the trams themselves, and the installing of state-of-the-art safety systems – including sensors in the middle of double trams, and speed warning devices.
Tram upgrades and track replacements are set to take place across Greater Manchester this summer / Credit: TfGM
New electrical substations are being added along parts of the Bury Line too to additional power so that more doubles trams run in future.
Metrolink is also replacing much of the communications network that’s said to be “critical” to the operation of its signalling and control systems, and is also looking into the replacement of overhead lines on some of the older parts of the network too.
Although the long-term benefits of the works to passengers are expected to be significant, TfGM has conceded that the improvement works set to take place this summer will mean some short-term disruption – but says this is planned to “minimise inconvenience to passengers”.
Vital information about service changes and replacement bus services will be available well in advance of the work, it has been confirmed.
Works are part of a planned £147m improvement package for the Metrolink network / Credit: Mangopear Creative (via Unsplash)
“Metrolink is an integral part of the Bee Network,” explained Danny Vaughan, who is TfGM’s Head of Metrolink, as the plans were announced last week, “And it’s really important that we invest in it so that we can continue to provide a safe, reliable, and positive experience for the thousands of people who travel with us every day.
“This is a coordinated package of planned works to maintain, renew, and improve the network and help to keep Greater Manchester moving.
“While we understand any disruption can be frustrating, we’ll be doing everything we can to keep it to a minimum, and we will make sure passengers know what’s happening well in advance, so I’d ask people to please bear with us while the works are carried out, as the benefits will be there to be enjoyed for years to come.”
For full details of all tram improvement works planned for this year, you’ll want to head to TfGM and the Bee Network website here.